Please note that the Special Events tour is now sold out on the 14th - 18th May! Please click here for our available tours on these dates
An exclusive event at Highclere Castle, with expert talks on the Art & Architecture of the castle followed by a guided tour of the rooms as seen in Downton Abbey. This special event allows a small numnber of people into the castle with the opportunity to enjoy the Castle and Gardens with refreshments included. After visiting the Castle we include a visit to Downton Village before returning to London
Maximum 18 people per tour
Entry to Highclere Castle & Gardens, with talks by expert guides on Art & Architecture.
A visit to Downton Village, including Downton Church
Please note that this tour is not guided, except at Highclere Castle - if you'd prefer to have a guided tour, please click here for our list of all available dates
We depart London and make our journey southwards to Hampshire to visit the magnificent Highclere Castle. This will be known to many as Lord Grantham's family seat, Downton Abbey itself. We head through the landscaped grounds by Lancelot 'Capability' Brown and up the gravel drive to the door. Lord and Lady Carnarvon have welcomed cast and crew here for the entire run of the show and one can come across so many familiar locations both in and outside of the house. See where O'Brien tripped up Bates, where Kemal Pamuk's body was moved, the dining room, where delicious dialogue is served up along with the food. Visit Robert Crawley's library and the various bedrooms and walk down the grand staircase. Enjoy lunch in one of the restaurants here and then explore the beautiful grounds.
The Special Event programme in May allows customers to enjoy the Castle, but also hear from experts and explore Highclere in greater detail:
"Each year I consider a different theme around Highclere, its landscape, the stories and works of art. In May 2019, I have decided to contemplate the themes of Art and Architecture and thus ask experts from those worlds to give short talks or to be in conversation around this theme.
The talks are not wholly about Highclere – they may consider Anthony Van Dyck, given the magnificent painting in the Dining Room and use that as starting point, or Joshua Reynolds or Richardson and the establishment of the Royal Academy in London. I hope to begin and end our May week with a talk by myself on Sir Charles Barry, the pre-eminent Victorian architect who was building the Houses of Parliament at the same time as he was building Highclere Castle."
After 4 hours at Highclere Castle we take the short journey Downton Village (Bampton) for the afternoon to see St Mary's church scene of so many weddings, a funeral or two and a jilting when it was transformed into St Michael's in Downton Abbey. See the Cottage Hospital and Mrs Crawley's house during the guided walk, visit the village green, post office and The Grantham Arms pub.
Disclaimer: International Friends Downton Abbey day trips and tours are not endorsed, sanctioned or in any other way supported, directly or indirectly, by Carnival Films, NBC Universal or Julian Fellowes and his representatives.
Important note about cancellations - Due to the very limited availability of Highclere Castle tickets all bookings for this day trip are 100% non refundable.
Please note that all timings above are estimated and assuming normal traffic conditions. Due to the changeable nature of road conditions, we cannot guarantee a precise time when you will arrive back in London.
On the return to London your driver will drop you at Victoria Train Station in the city centre. This is one of the largest transport stations in London, with excellent connections to all parts of London and beyond.
Please ensure you arrive at your allocated departure point at least 10 minutes before your departure time.
Outside The British Museum main entrance on Great Russell Street (MAP). Nearest tube stations are Holborn or Tottenham Court Road.
Outside Cumberland Hotel, Marble Arch. From Spring 2019, the Cumberland Hotel will be changing its name to to the 'Hard Rock Hotel'. (MAP) Nearest tube station is Marble Arch
Outside Holiday Inn Kensington Forum, 97 Cromwell Road (MAP) (wait on Cromwell road by the bus stop, not outside the hotel entrance) Nearest tube station is Gloucester Road